This blog is written by Dell Operating Systems and Hypervisor Engineering team

Introduction to BOSS-S1

BOSS (Boot Optimized Storage Solution) is a new boot device introduced by DellEMC for use on the 14th generation of PowerEdge servers. The BOSS device provides a hardware mirror option so that the user can create a RAID1 and install the operating system on the LUN from redundancy point of view. In addition to RAID1, this controller can operate in passthrough mode (Non RAID).

Supported operating systems for BOSS-S1

Below are the operating system versions supported by Dell for BOSS as a boot device.

  • VMware ESXi 6.5 A04
  • VMware ESXi 6.0 U3 A02
  • RHEL 6.9+
  • RHEL 7.3+
  • SLES 12 SP2+
  • Windows 2016*
  • Windows 2012 R2*

* After installation of Windows Server, Device Manager shows a yellow bang on a Marvell console device. This device is used for management purposes (vendor CLI, DUP and Dell OM) but not for data path, so there is no loss of functionality. To resolve this yellow bang issue, download and install the driver from the Dell support page

Things to know before you use BOSS-S1

  • BOSS would be the default boot device that Dell factories will use to install the supported operating systems if the customer orders it. This holds true even when there are additional boot devices available in the order such as IDSDM SD cards/PERC LUNs selected by the customer.
  • DellEMC PowerEdge 14G servers shipped from factory with ESXi installed on BOSS-S1 device will not have VMFS datastore enabled by default. DellEMC recommends BOSS-S1 device as OS boot device only. Refer to VMware KB 2145210.
  • To check for the device listing within the operating system, below are the options.
    • Linux:
      • On a system with any of the Linux versions installed, the presence of a BOSS device could be confirmed by following check.
        • BOSS device configured in RAID 1 mode with two 120GB M.2 SATA drives

        • BOSS device with two 120GB M.2 SATA drivers without RAID1 mode.

    • Windows
      • On a Windows machine with inbox version of the driver, the BOSS-S1 device and the disks attached are shown as follows in the device manager.

    • VMware ESXi
      • VMware ESXi provides few commands such as (esxcfg-scsidevs; esxcli storage core device list) to represent the devices exposed from the system. Below is a sample output for BOSS RAID1 LUN exposed from the system from ESXi point of view

References

PowerEdge Boot Optimized Storage Solution (BOSS)